The following is the transcript of Kristine’s Easter 2020 message.
On this Easter Sunday, we worship together in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. After the atonement, Jesus was crucified, his spirit left his body, and his body was laid to rest in a sepulcher or tomb. On the first day of the week, Sunday, Jesus’ spirit and body were reunited and He rose.
On the morning of the first day, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. When she saw that it was empty she wept because she thought that Jesus’ body had been taken. But, Jesus appeared unto her and told her to go forth and share of his return with the twelve.
“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher… But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them: Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him: Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her: Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him: Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her: Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.” -John 20:1, 11-18
But, in Luke 24:11 we learn that the disciples didn’t believe Mary or the other women when they came to preach of Jesus’ resurrection.
“And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.”
Why did the disciples lack faith in Mary’s words?
Even during this time, men often used their power to rule over women. Women were not allowed their voices – they were not allowed to cast a vote, to testify, or to preach. So, when these female disciples of Jesus came to testify of the things they had seen, and what Mary had experienced, the male disciples did not believe.
Knowing this, why then did Jesus appear to Mary, a woman, first, and direct her to testify to his disciples of his return? Jesus certainly knew of the reception she would receive. I believe this was meant as a reminder to both his female disciples of their faith and the validity of their voices in preaching of Him, and also to his male disciples that their sisters, wives, and daughters are commissioned as equals to preach of His gospel.
Sisters, I say to you, we have an integral seat at God’s table. We have been called and set apart to share of Christ’s love, and of His atonement for us with the world. I would encourage each of you to continue to seek His call for you in prayer. And, brothers, I encourage you to support and lift up those sisters among you, that they will be magnified in this call.
Image: “Christ’s Appearance To Mary Magdalene After The Resurrection,” 1835, by Alexander Ivanov